A few years ago, Microsoft released the Xbox Adaptive Controller, an accessibility-focused gamepad that allowed you to tailor the controls to bypass any individual disability, making it possible for everyone to partake in the joys of modern gaming. This time around, Microsoft is applying the same accessibility-focused customization to traditional PC peripherals in the form of the Microsoft Adaptive Accessories.
Designed to make computing more accessible, the peripherals let you customize your PC controls to a person’s individual needs, similar to the way the Adaptive Controller can be tailored to make gameplay accessible to everyone. Granted, it still requires plenty of creative solutions for each individual situation, but with the accessory set, Microsoft puts the power to more easily design disability-overcoming peripherals in people’s hands.
The Microsoft Adaptive Accessories has three peripheral types in the lineup: the Adaptive Mouse, Adaptive Buttons, and the Adaptive Hub. The Adaptive Mouse’s main component is a tile-shaped mouse core that houses two clickers, a scroll wheel, and an optical tracker. It can be used on its own as a compact mouse, but can also be combined with different types of housing to support individual ergonomic needs. You can, for instance, place it inside the Microsoft Adaptive Mouse tail to turn it into a mouse with a traditional palm grip, complete with a thumb rest that can be placed on either the left or right side for ambidextrous support.
Of course, a traditional mouse grip probably isn’t what you had in mind when thinking about accessibility. As such, Microsoft recommends 3D printing custom housing for the mouse core using the numerous design models they have ready to download and fabricate on your home 3D printer. If you’re up to it, you can also design your own solutions from the ground up, which should allow for an even more custom-tailored solution. Want to make a mouse housing that lets you navigate and click onscreen with your feet? We imagine that would make for an interesting 3D modeling project. How about one that can be used with no fingers whatsoever? It won’t be easy, but Microsoft is counting on the likelihood that you can use their mouse core for such a unique design.
The Microsoft Adaptive Buttons and Adaptive Hub, on the other hand, offer users an alternative to traditional keyboard inputs. The Adaptive Hub actually serves as an access point for the buttons, with the ability to pair with up to four Adaptive Buttons simultaneously. Each Adaptive Button is, basically, an eight-way switch, so you can program eight different actions for each one, with a single hub getting access to 32 different inputs if you max out the four-button pairing. Yeah, it’s not a conventional button and, as such, can be topped by either a classic D-pad, a traditional joystick, or a two-way button. Similar to the Adaptive Mouse, the Adaptive Button also comes with downloadable button topper models that can be 3D-printed and switched in place of the included buttons, allowing you to make all sorts of fancy controls that can interact with the peripheral’s eight-way switch. Both the Adaptive Mouse and the Adaptive Button can connect with up to three devices (PCs, smartphones, tablets) either wirelessly or via USB-C.
You can learn more about the Microsoft Adaptive Accessories from the link below.